|Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur|
|Opening theme||"Moon Girl Magic"|
by Diamond White
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Running time||22 minutes|
45 minutes ("Moon Girl Landing" only)
|Original network||Disney Channel|
|Original release||February 10, 2023 –|
Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (or simply Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur) is an American animated television series developed by Steve Loter, Jeffrey M. Howard, and Kate Kondell for Disney Channel. Based on the characters of the same names by Marvel Comics, the series follows Lunella Lafayette and her dinosaur companion "Devil Dinosaur".
The series stars the voices of Diamond White, Fred Tatasciore, Alfre Woodard, Sasheer Zamata, Jermaine Fowler, Gary Anthony Williams, Libe Barer, and Laurence Fishburne. Development began after Marvel Studios president Louis D'Esposito showed Fishburne the comic book Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. His interest piqued, Fishburne sought to make an animated series based on the duo. Production proceeded for two years before Steve Loter was hired as an executive producer. After a successful pitch to Disney Television Animation executives, the series was greenlit and publicly announced in February 2018. It is produced by Cinema Gypsy Productions, Disney Television Animation, and Marvel Animation, with animation by Flying Bark Productions.
In October 2022, ahead of the series premiere, the series was renewed for a second season. Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur premiered on Disney Channel on February 10, 2023, and was released on Disney+ five days later. The series received acclaim from critics for its writing, animation, and soundtrack. The second season will premiere in 2024.
Lunella Lafayette is a 13-year-old genius living with her parents and grandparents in the Lower East Side of New York City. One day, she activates a portal and a red Tyrannosaurus steps out of it. With the support of her friend Casey, she becomes a superhero named Moon Girl and names the dinosaur "Devil Dinosaur".
- Diamond White as Lunella Lafayette / Moon Girl, a gifted 13-year-old Black girl who lives a double life as a superheroine and accidentally brings Devil Dinosaur into present-day New York.
- Fred Tatasciore as:
- Devil Dinosaur, a red Tyrannosaurus accidentally brought to present-day New York City by Lunella. He is shown to have a big appetite for food, especially hot dogs.
- Coach Hrbek, Lunella's gym teacher at school who also works as a substitute science teacher.
- Devos the Devastator, a robotic being that speaks in the third person.
- Alfre Woodard as Miriam "Mimi" Lafayette, Lunella's grandmother who is a snack bar attendant at Roll With It, an expert cook, and was the original Moon Girl when she used to be a scientist who secretly knows that Lunella and Moon Girl are one and the same.
- Sasheer Zamata as:
- Jermaine Fowler as James Lafayette Jr., Lunella's father and a sneaker clerk at Roll With It.
- Gary Anthony Williams as:
- James "Pops" Lafayette Sr., a middle-aged man styled as 1960s punker, Lunella's paternal grandfather and the proprietor of Roll With It.
- Rockin' Rudy, a villain that always manages to evade capture despite not having any superpowers other than a working car.
- Garko the Man-Frog, a humanoid frog villain and thief.
- Libe Barer as Casey Calderon (full name Casey Maria Eva Duarte Goldberg-Calderon), Lunella's manager, best friend of Puerto Rican and Jewish ancestry, and confidant in regards to Lunella's identity as Moon Girl.
- Laurence Fishburne as:
- The Beyonder, a trickster with immense cosmic powers who is described as "curious and mischievous". He is here to judge humanity to see if they are worthy of existence. The Beyonder also provides background information about Lunella's foes (credited as "Backstory Man" for his voiceover narration in earlier episodes) to the viewers.
- Bill Foster, a geneticist specializing in Pym particles. Fishburne reprises his role from the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Ant-Man and the Wasp.
- Omid Abtahi as Ahmed, one of Lunella's neighbors who runs a deli.
- Utkarsh Ambudkar as Anand, an intellectual rival of Lunella.
- Michael Cimino as Eduardo, Lunella's friend who is loud and loves music.
- Indya Moore as Brooklyn, a friend of Lunella's who is openly trans.
- Craig Robinson as Principal Nelson, the principal at Lunella's school.
- Ian Alexander as Tai, a non-binary classmate of Lunella's.
- Tajinae Turner as Geri, a classmate of Lunella's.
- Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who works under director Nick Fury. Smulders reprises her role from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Alison Brie as Ms. Dillon / Aftershock, a supervillain with electrokinesis and former science teacher.
- Josh Keaton as Angelo, a boy with community-helping plans who becomes possessed by a trolling Symbiote called Syphonater.
- Carlee Baker as Sofie Slugfoot / Instantanegirl, an ex-hurdler who took a chemical compound that enhanced her leg muscles to give her more speed which got her banned from the Olympic games.
- Aaron Drown as Timmy Grubbs / Man Baby, the infant son of a scientist who was accidentally enlarged by his scientist father's growth rays
- Ace Gibson as Gravitas, a supervillain whose gloves can shoot liquid that negates the gravity of his targets.
- Andy Cohen as Isaac Goldberg-Calderon, one of Casey's fathers
- Wilson Cruz as Antonio Goldberg-Calderon, one of Casey's fathers
- Asia Kate Dillon as LOS-307, a non-binary living supercomputer. They would later become the new school counselor at Lunella's school after Miss Sarah's retirement.
- Jennifer Hudson as Mane, Lunella's vengeful living hair.
- Kari Wahlgren as Linh Pham / Stiletto, a supervillain and shopaholic of high-heeled shoes whose special stilettos can expand to long heights.
- Maya Hawke as Abyss, a teleporter who is the daughter of an unnamed female supervillain.
- Daveed Diggs as Rat King, a humanoid rat villain who lives in the sewers and is served by the rats that live there.
- Mae Jemison as Skipster, an app created by Lunella that can skip forward in time and is made to sound like her voice actress Dr. Mae Jemison.
- May Calamawy as Fawzia, a Muslim classmate of Lunella's.
- Ramone Hamilton as TJ, Brooklyn's younger and annoying brother who is obsessed with his models.
- Luis Guzmán as Council President Diego Peña, the head of the L.E.S. city council.
- June Diane Raphael as Marcy Muzzler, a scientist who is obsessed with gentrification.
- Paul Scheer as Marty Muzzler, a scientist and husband of Marcy who is obsessed with gentrification.
- Gideon Adlon as Lara, Laura, and Laurel, Casey's triplet cousins who are always deadpan.
- Pamela Adlon as Rabbi Ryda, Casey's rabbi at her bat mitzvah.
- Anna Akana as Odessa Drake, a social media influencer who is the daughter of the unnamed Thieves Guild leader.
- Method Man as Torg, a giant ape-like creature.
- Wesley Snipes as Maris Morlak, a mad scientist and member of Enclave who has connections with the original Moon Girl.
- Peter Weller as Dr. Stern, a snooty art historian.
- Edward James Olmos as Molecule Man, a powerful being who rules over a planet.
|No.||Title ||Directed by||Written by||Storyboard by||Original air date ||Prod.|
|1||"Moon Girl Landing"||Trey Buongiorno & Christine Liu||Jeffrey M. Howard & Kate Kondell||Chivaun Fitzpatrick, Jules Bridgers, Morgan Hillebrand, Lidia Liu, Alfred Coleman III, Annie J. Li & Kalen Aris Whitfield||February 10, 2023||101||0.21|
|13-year-old genius Lunella Lafayette wants to help her family keep their business running after numerous blackouts cause everything to shut down. She builds what she thinks is a generator, but it turns out to be a portal generator that summons a dinosaur. He imprints on her as they run into Casey Calderon, a social media influencer, and encounter Aftershock, an electricity-based villain and the culprit behind the blackouts. With Casey's support, Lunella picks the name Moon Girl and names the dinosaur Devil Dinosaur and become heroes to the Lower East Side. After an intense fight with Aftershock and the revelation that she is her new science teacher Ms. Dillon, Lunella considers hanging up her costume until she gets the support of her Grandma Mimi. With the LES backing her up, Lunella and Devil defeat Aftershock and restore power to the city.|
|2||"The Borough Bully"||Trey Buongiorno||Halima Lucas||Chivaun Fitzpatrick, Annie J. Li & Kalen Aris Whitfield||February 11, 2023||102||0.20|
|Lunella becomes perturbed by an internet troll named Syphon8r. Despite Casey warning her to ignore him, Lunella cannot let it go and uses her ingenuity to find and confront Syphon8r face to face, only to learn that he is a literal troll with multiple appendages that is made up of a symbiote. After trial and error, Lunella realizes that he is powered by her anger and calms down, weakening him. The symbiote escapes, revealing a boy named Angelo, who was angry that people ignored his activism in favor of Moon Girl, though he did not mean to go too far. Lunella offers to aid him in activism against bullying and the two become friends.|
|3||"Run the Rink"||Ben Juwono||Jeffrey M. Howard & Kate Kondell||Steve Hirt, Trey Buongiorno, Diana Kidlaied, Paulene Phouybanhdyt, Johnny Castuciano, Jessica Lin & Philip Pignotti||February 18, 2023[a]||103||0.16|
|Lunella volunteers to look after Roll With It while her family is away, but things get bad when she makes a mess and accidentally destroys her mother's turntables. With Casey's guidance, they entice people to come for the evening to see Moon Girl and earn money to buy a new set. However, villains crash the event including Instantanegirl, Man Baby, and Gravitas (who wants revenge on Lunella for a botched heist). Taking Mimi's advice into consideration, Lunella uses patience to thwart Gravitas, save Roll With It and the patrons who return home satisfied. The Lafayettes return none the wiser and Lunella thanks Mimi for her advice.|
|4||"Check Yourself"||Rodney Clouden & Ben Juwono||Maggie Rose||Samir Barrett, Samm Lee & Tyre Jones||February 18, 2023[a]||104||0.14|
|Lunella learns that her family considers her unfun when it comes to playing games due to her competitive nature. At school, the principal introduces LOS-307, a living computer. Lunella challenges LOS to chess, but they hit a stalemate and are forced to end it early, making Lunella fixated with winning the chess game and LOS becoming obsessed with learning more about Lunella. They play again at night, but LOS overheats and traps Lunella in the school while holding Casey hostage. Casey manages to call Devil Dinosaur and he and Lunella cool down LOS and they both apologize. LOS becomes the new student guidance counselor.|
|5||"Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow"||Christine Liu||Lisa Muse Bryant||Jules Bridgers, Morgan Hillebrand & Lidia Liu||February 25, 2023[a]||105||0.19|
|Adria tells Lunella to take better care of her hair and she becomes self-conscious after another girl at school comments on it. Lunella creates a solution to straighten her hair, but it falls out and becomes sentient. The sentient hair, named Mane, begins to intrude on Lunella's life and plans to create a living hair army with her solution. Lunella comes clean about her botched plan to Adria and Mimi who inform her that she needed neutralizer. Lunella battles Mane, but realizes she took her hair for granted and apologizes. Mane willingly returns to Lunella's head, just in time for picture day, and the latter begins to love herself more.|
|6||"The Beyonder"||Ben Juwono & Samantha Suyi Lee||Halima Lucas||Samir Barrett, Tyre Jones, Samantha Suyi Lee, Kellye Perdue & Sixiao Tang||February 25, 2023[a]||106||0.18|
|Lunella learns that she has been watched by the Beyonder, who wants to learn about humanity so as to decide their fate in regards to whether or not they are worth his people's effort. Lunella enters a science fair with Eduardo, an annoying boy at her school; she is so desperate to get away from him that she pays no mind to the Beyonder's quest, thus inadvertently convincing him to wipe humanity out. Eduardo learns that Lunella does not want him around, but the Beyonder hangs humanity on the science fair and wants them to work together. Lunella apologizes to Eduardo and they make up, but they lose the science fair. The Beyonder briefly enacts his destruction of humanity before reversing it, revealing that he liked what they made and agreeing to leave humanity alone, for now.|
|7||"Moon Girl's Day Off"||Trey Buongiorno||Liz Hara & Lisa Muse Bryant||Chivaun Fitzpatrick, Annie J. Li & Kalen Aris Whitfield||March 4, 2023[b]||110||0.15|
Lunella becomes overworked by her busy life that she decides to fake a broken ankle to get out of it. She has Casey pose as her for the day and she starts to see that Lunella has it rough. Mimi finds out that Lunella is faking her broken ankle and tells her to simply be honest. Casey is confronted by the villain Abyss, who wants revenge on Moon Girl. Lunella goes into town to help Casey, only to break her ankle for real. Together with Casey and Devil, Lunella defeats Abyss again. Inspired by Lunella and Casey's friendship, Abyss calls her mother stating that she wants to get out of the supervillain business. Lunella and Casey relax with ice cream.Note: This episode chronologically takes place after "Goodnight, Moon Girl".
|8||"Teacher's Pet"||Trey Buongiorno||Taylor Vaughn Lasey||Chivaun Fitzpatrick, Annie J. Li & Kalen Aris Whitfield||March 11, 2023[c]||108||0.23|
|Lunella brings home her class's pet hamster Angel and Devil becomes jealous. During the night, Devil accidentally causes Angel to escape his cage and in the morning looks for him. Angel is found by Rat King, who wants revenge on Lunella and Devil for a pizza heist gone wrong. Lunella finds out what happened and is upset with Devil, but gets captured by Rat King. Devil and Angel team up to free Lunella and they defeat Rat King. Afterwards, Lunella tells Devil that he will always be her number one friend and that Angel was only staying for the weekend, much to Devil's shock. In the sewers, Rat King reemerges.|
|9||"Skip This Ad...olescence"||Samantha Suyi Lee||Halima Lucas||Samir Barrett, Chivaun Fitzpatrick, Steve Hirt, Tyre Jones, Waymond Singleton, Sixiao Tang, Kalen Aris Whitfield & Yunhao Zhang||March 18, 2023[c]||109||0.12|
|Lunella finds herself bored by the numerous things she considers a waste such as cleaning with her family. She invents an app named Skipster that allows her to jump forward in time. While excited at first, Skipster begins to skip through things and Lunella misses personal moments with her family and friends. Finally fed up, she hacks into the app to disable it and is sent across the past and future until she is in a time void. Having learned her lesson, Skipster allows Lunella to go back to the point in time before she invented her just as her battery dies. Lunella is back at home. This time, she is happy with the small things in life.|
|10||"Goodnight, Moon Girl"||Christine Liu||Liz Hara||Jules Bridgers, Morgan Hillebrand & Lidia Liu||March 25, 2023[b][c]||107||0.16|
Lunella and Casey get invited by their school's volleyball team to a sleepover. Lunella is nervous and invents a mind-reading device that allows her to know what everyone is thinking, but it instead causes her to switch minds with Devil. She leaves the remote behind and it is mistaken for a regular remote, causing chaos for Lunella and Devil. Lunella comes to realize that the girls like Devil as her. As Casey tries to comfort her, Brooklyn's little brother TJ steals her remote as revenge for ruining his night. Lunella and Devil manage to catch him and the former learns that it is okay to be weird and ends up having a fun time at the sleepover.Note: This episode chronologically takes place before "Moon Girl's Day Off".
|11||"Like Mother, Like Moon Girl"||Samantha Suyi Lee||Halima Lucas||Samir Barrett, Sixiao Tang & Yunhao Zhang||April 1, 2023[c]||111||0.13|
|Lunella is made community captain by council president Peña, who hires the Muzzlers to help improve the community. Lunella is reluctant, but agrees only to find that the Muzzlers are obsessed with extreme gentrification, causing everyone, including Adria, to lose faith in Moon Girl for the massive changes and restrictions. Lunella is encouraged to use her voice and organizes a protest. Peña joins in the protest as the Muzzlers reveal their true colors and battle Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. They are defeated and things return to normal with Adria still not realizing that Lunella and Moon Girl are one and the same.|
|12||"Today, I Am a Woman"||Christine Liu||Maggie Rose||Jules Bridgers, Morgan Hillebrand & Lidia Liu||April 8, 2023||112||0.13|
|Lunella gets ready for Casey's bat mitzvah, but she wants to impress her triplet cousins. Lunella decides to show up with Devil as Moon Girl, which catches the attention of social media influencer Odessa Drake. Casey begins to act obnoxious and obsessed with likes, which drives Lunella away. However, Lunella discovers that Drake is a criminal who is after her tech and fights her. Casey realizes that she has been acting terribly and helps Lunella catch Drake. Afterward, they have the afterparty at Roll With It, while Drake is taken in by Sam Wilson—who is Captain America—for her history of stealing the Avengers' tech.|
|13||"Devil on Her Shoulder"||Christine Liu||Taylor Vaughn-Lasley||Jules Bridgers, Morgan Hillebrand & Lidia Liu||April 15, 2023[d]||113||0.19|
|Devil feels insecure about his size, so Lunella creates a compound that shrinks him to people size. Devil wants to be smaller and takes more of the serum, but finds that he is still shrinking. Panicked, Lunella calls Dr. Bill Foster who gives her a growing compound. At that moment, the monster Torg attacks the L.E.S. over a movie depicting him as the villain and Lunella is forced to fight him while Casey makes the compound for Devil. He is restored to size and fights Torg, but empathizes with him and gets him to calm down. In the end, Devil and Torg become friends and Casey makes a movie about them.|
|14||"Coney Island, Baby!"||Trey Buongiorno||Liz Hara||Chivaun Fitzpatrick, Annie J. Li & Kalen Aris Whitfield||April 22, 2023[d]||114||0.14|
|Mimi invites Lunella and Casey to Coney Island where Lunella reveals that she has a traumatizing fear of the park, due to an incident in the funhouse from her childhood. However, the Beyonder is there and becomes intrigued with the concept of fear and decides to exploit it in Lunella with rigorous tests. He realizes her biggest fear is losing a loved one, and decides to "help" her through it by turning the park into a horrifying nightmare and kidnaps Mimi, forcing Lunella to confront her fears head-on and rescue her. Upon seeing Devil face his fears to reach the island, Lunella finally understands that she needs to deal with hers and happily embraces the rides at Coney Island with Casey. However, Beyonder then enigmatically tells Mimi that someone is coming for her and that she needs to be ready.|
|15||"OMG Issue #1"||Trey Buongiorno||Taylor Vaughn-Lasley & Liz Hara||Chivaun Fitzpatrick, Annie J. Li & Kalen Aris Whitfield||April 29, 2023[d]||115||0.13|
|Lunella is attacked by mysterious agents of the Enclave, whose leader Maris Morlak wants the portal generator recreated so as to be recognized for its discovery. Even S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill is perplexed. Lunella discovers that Mimi was the original Moon Girl, who worked for the Enclave before running away from Morlak. Morlak sends his men after Lunella and Mimi; the two destroy the generator and fight their way out, only for Lunella to get captured and Devil collapses from exhaustion. Lunella manages to escape Morlak while Mimi willingly goes to protect her family. However, the Enclave blows up Lunella's lab with Devil still inside.|
|16||"OMG Issue #2"||Christine Liu||Taylor Vaughn-Lasley & Liz Hara||Jules Bridgers, Morgan Hillebrand & Lidia Liu||May 6, 2023[d]||116||0.13|
|Continuing from "OMG Issue #1", Devil escapes the exploding lab while Lunella successfully locates the Enclave's covert base. With help from Casey's new stealth suit, Lunella, Devil, and Casey sneak in to rescue Mimi who finishes rebuilding the portal generator. Morlak activates the machine and brings in three alien creatures, and uses a mind-controlling whistle to control them. The Heroes manage to send the monsters back home, but Morlak snaps and overclocks the generator, opening an unstable wormhole and getting sucked in despite Mimi's efforts to rescue him. Lunella is forced to go through the wormhole in order to close it. Devastated, Mimi declares that she is going to find and rescue Lunella. In a post-credits scene, Lunella awakens in a void and wonders aloud where she is.|
Chibi Tiny Tales
Chibi Tiny Tales is a series of shorts that depict characters from various Disney Channel properties in chibi-style animation. In June 2023, the series began releasing shorts based around Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.
|No.||Title||Original release date|
|1||"Hot Dog!"||June 3, 2023|
|While walking through New York City with Lunella, Devil witnesses an ice cream truck and pursuits it in order to eat ice cream. Moon Girl goes after him, resulting in a chase between the three until Lunella manages to divert Devil's attention from the truck with a hot dog. However, Devil sees a hot dog vehicle, resulting in another chase.|
|2||"Perilous Parade"||July 1, 2023|
|Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur attend a parade when the Beyonder brings three of the balloons to life. The duo manages to trap the clown balloon in a car while Devil eats the ice cream balloon. Lunella then deinflates the dragon balloon, sending the Beyonder flying away.|
|3||"Carnival Carnivore"||August 1, 2023|
During discussions with Marvel Studios regarding a potential collaboration with Cinema Gypsy Productions for a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) project, president Louis D'Esposito showed actor and comic book fan Laurence Fishburne the comic book Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. Having read the original Moon-Boy and Devil Dinosaur comic book as a child, Moon Girl piqued Fishburne's interest. He afterwards began reading the comics, which gave him the inspiration to create an animated series based on the duo. Fishburne and a production team worked on the series for two years at Disney Television Animation, before hiring Steve Loter as executive-producer due to his experience on female-centered shows such as Disney's Kim Possible. Loter and the team then created a roller-skating sequence played over "Sweatpants" by Childish Gambino as a proof-of-concept piece and pitched it to executives at Disney Television Animation, who greenlit the series for development.
On February 20, 2018, it was reported that Marvel Animation and Cinema Gypsy Productions were developing a Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur series for Disney Channel Worldwide. Fishburne (a long-time Marvel alumni; having played Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Bill Foster in Ant-Man and the Wasp) and Helen Sugland serve as the series' executive producers. The first season had 20 episodes ordered, but was later cut down to 16 due to story purposes.
On August 24, 2019, during the D23 Expo, Fishburne revealed that the series would premiere in 2020 on Disney Channel, with Disney Television Animation being set to co-produce the series, marking the first time Disney and Marvel worked together on an animated series. Loter executive produces the series alongside Fishburne and Sugland. Jeff Howard and Kate Kondell work on the series as co-producers and story editors. Howard and Kondell were the first two writers hired for the series. The two helped the production team define the characters, with an hour being dedicated to a specific character. By the time writing for the episodes started, the characters were defined enough that not many ideas were revised. Kondell also serves as head writer for the series.
Fishburne said that "Disney Channel is the perfect platform to explore this pint-sized female African American superhero and [he] can't wait for their audience to enjoy the lighthearted adventures of Lunella and Devil Dinosaur", while Cort Lae, Marvel Family and Entertainment's then-senior vice president, said that "[Moon Girl's] adventures with giant buddy, Devil Dinosaur, are filled with so much wonder and joy, and this historic partnership with Disney Television Animation and Cinema Gypsy Productions proved the right formula to bring them to television".
In February 2021, it was reported that Rodney Clouden would serve as supervising producer for the series, while Pilar Flynn would produce. Due to Disney Television Animation's studios having closed in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the series was produced remotely. The producers developed each episode with a feature film-like pipeline, with each script receiving a "color script" as with films, and each episode being treated as a "mini-movie". The producers wanted the team to be composed of people with different filmmaking experiences.
In October 2022, the series was renewed for a second season. The series was renewed after a positive reception from both Disney and Marvel executives. Rafael Chaidez will take over as producer for season two, while Flynn and Clouden will serve as co-executive producers alongside Kondell. Kondell will also serve as story editor alongside Halima Lucas, the latter who will also be a co-producer alongside Ben Juwono, who will replace Clouden as supervising director. Production for season 2 began by February 2023.
The series features a writing and directing crew consisting entirely of female writers of color, as the showrunners wanted the production team to reflect the diversity within New York City, where the show is set. The writers, alongside other crew members of color, were allowed to provide feedback regarding representation of minorities within the show, with some of said crew members receiving promotions within the crew while working on the series. The crew also worked alongside Disney production coordinator Allen March to identify moments to add diversity to the show via background or speaking characters, as well as to calculate the representation per episode. Loter, who lives in New York City, said that it was important for the crew to "make sure they've got New York right", wanting to respect the city's "vibe" and "tone". He also reused elements of the series' potrayal of NYC from his cancelled Cars spin-off film Metro, such as promeniently featuring the New York City Hall station, which appears in the series as Lunella's lab. The series starts off with an episodic format as it explores Lunella becoming Moon Girl, before transitioning into a more serialized story, with an arc unfolding throughout the first season.
Supervising producer Rodney Clouden said it was important for the production crew to accurately portray a multigenerational African-American family. They wanted to show both Moon Girl learning from her family and her family learning from her through their multiple perspectives. Each character was given a different personality and profession, such as Pops being owner of a roller-skate and Andria being a DJ, to further explore diversity and how "everyone is so different [from each other]". Sasheer Zamata, who voices Lunella's mother, said that family is a crucial theme in the show, and described the series as "a nice way to see a Black family work together and enjoy each other and spread love in their community". Producer Pylar Flynn said it was important for the writers to have Moon Girl and Casey have a close and supportive relationship, which is rarely seen among female friendships in animation.
The producers used the original comic as "a springboard" and "a point of reference" for the series, although making several alterations regarding the source material to make the story fit in a television format while still incorporating nods to multiple comic-book storylines. According to Diamond White, the series features "levels of emotions" that were absent from the original comic. The series portrays the relationship between the duo as "a partnership" instead of "a pet/owner dynamic", with Devil becoming fiercely loyal to Moon Girl and feeling "at home with her" due to how she treats him. Another changes were the increased role of Lunella's family and the addition of her friend Casey, which were made to showcase how Lunella's world changes as she grows through the series. They also felt it was important for Lunella to have a support system, and for her household to represent that of many audiences' households. The producers changed Lunella's age from 9 to 13-years-old because they wanted social media to play a prominent role in her character, which they felt would not work with her being 9-years-old.
The series features several obscure characters from Marvel comics. The characters included were selected due to potential roles they could play in the story, interest from the producers, and/or recommendations from Marvel, such as the Beyonder, who was suggested by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige as a foil for Lunella; the producers were particularly interested in featuring characters that hadn't been adapted to other media before, such as Aftershock, as their obscurity allowed the creators to make changes that fitted within the show's narrative, though more prominent Marvel characters are also set to appear. Fishburne noted, however, that some characters were unable to appear due to "proprietary issues". Elements from Marvel comics will appear more prominently later in the series, after Lunella and "her world" are properly established. Some of the villains represent real-life issues within the show, such as Aftershock draining the Lower East Side's energy in the first episode, which serves as "a statement" about gentrification. The series was also described as "complimentary" to the MCU, with the creators including multiple nods to the franchise through the series. Fishburne claimed that the series is not "connected to the MCU officially", while Loter revealed that "a couple of MCU characters" would appear in the series.
In February 2021, it was reported that White and Tatasciore would voice the titular duo, with Woodard, Williams, Zamata, and Fowler providing the voices of Lunella/Moon Girl's grandparents and parents, respectively, and Barer as her best friend, Casey. It was also reported that Fishburne would voice The Beyonder in a recurring capacity. Additional recurring and guest roles were announced the San Diego Comic Con in July 2022. White was cast shortly after Loter heard her audition tape; according to Loter, her tape was the only one he heard, as he was impressed with her performance.
Voice recordings for season one were partially done remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Williams, whose work on the show was his first role during the pandemic, received help from his wife to prepare to record his lines from their home. White and Barer ad-libbed several dialogues between Moon Girl and Casey, with the two recording their lines simultaneously either physically or through Zoom. White also recorded some of her lines with Tatatsciore, as well as with Woodward, Zamata, and Williams. While providing the vocal effects for Devil, Tatasciore was given a script with lines for him, which he would later work into animal vocals. The idea of Fishburne voicing the Beyonder was suggested by Loter. For his performance, Fishburne wanted it to be lighter and less recognizable than his previous roles, so he and Loter worked together to develop his voice for the Beyonder.
The series is animated by Flying Bark Productions, in Sydney, Australia. Titmouse worked on early visual development for the series. Flying Bark, whose employees were fans of the source material, was hired due to the studio's work on Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Animation lead Kat Kosmala created a series of rules for the animators, among them being that the character animation must draw the viewers' attention, the action must be "simple and direct", and simplification should be used only for designs. The visual style is meant to "[lean] heavy into [a] 2D graphic comicbook sensibility". The animation combines hand-drawn animation with Toon Boom Harmony, with Toon Boom being used for stage and head-rigging, while the bodies of the characters are hand-drawn. The producers originally planned to only use Toon Boom, but ultimately felt hand-drawn animation was also required.
Multiple animation styles were used per episode. For the New York sequences, the producers drew inspiration from graffiti artists, as well as artists such as Andy Warhol, for the series' art style, to portray New York in a more realistic style than most animated shows, while also portraying the city as its own character. Loter and Clouden drew inspiration from their childhood for the series' portrayal of NYC. Graffiti artists were hired to work on the graffiti depicted through the show to show accurate graffiti. The camera movement was also meant to evoke the feeling of a real-life city recording, with "forced tight shots" and "object obstruction". The buildings and streets were also drawn to be accurate to their real-life counterparts. The musical sequences feature a more abstract art style that is more colorful and action-focused. Flashback sequences feature a simpler graphic style with colors that "quickly enhance emotional beats".
Due to Fishburne's love of comic books, producers also wanted the animation to "feel like an illustrated moving comic book", so the artists drew inspiration from comic books from the 1970s, featuring a lack of "perfect shapes" and "edgy line work", while having a hand-drawn feel. Details such as black spots were also added so they could "[feel] like a very complete piece" even before adding color. Artists wanted to avoid using digital techniques such as motion blur, wanting instead to rely mainly on ink-and-paint techniques. The animation also drew inspiration from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, with the producers wanting the animation to be as energetic as possible within a budget for a TV series. The animators also sought for the animation to be "complimentary" to Into the Spider-Verse without recycling its animation style. Marvel Studios Animation's What If...? was also an influence on the series' visual design.
Lead character designer Jose Lopez wanted the characters to have multiple shapes that were "fun to look at", such as Moon Girl's silhouette changing when she dons her superhero outfit. He also wanted Devil Dinosaur to look like "a mean dinosaur" while also being "believable as a lovable pet". He also drew inspiration from comic strip artist Bill Watterson, of whom Lopez is a fan of. Marc Hempel and Devil's co-creator Jack Kirby were also inspirations for the art style of the show, with the artists incorporating the Kirby Krackle into the series. The artists also incorporated elements to visually represent the characters' feelings, such as manga-style "flairs", as well as emojis that were "simple and clear and direct".
In July 2022, it was announced that Raphael Saadiq would serve as the executive music producer for the show. He also provided both the score and songs for the show. Loter, a fan of Saadiq, approached him to work on the project during an autograph signing. Each episode features a different song by Saadiq, depicted in-universe as part of a mix-tape Moon Girl listens to; the songs were written before animation work began so the animators could synchronize the songs to the sequence. Saadiq included different musical genres in the soundtrack to reflect the diversity within New York City. Producer Pylar Flynn described his score as "sophisticated" and "unlike anything [she has] seen in animation before", saying it "elevated the entire show to another level". According to Flynn, the crew generally pitched ideas for the score to Saadiq, only for him to discard them in favor of something different, which the producers received positively. The first episode features a song titled "Where You Come From", which Loter described as "a love letter to New York". Saadiq also wrote songs for the series' villains.
The show's theme song, "Moon Girl Magic", was performed written by Saadiq alongside Halima Lucas and Taura Stinson, and performed by White. The song was written by Saadiq with "a similar energy" to "Juice" by Lizzo, and received an "instant green-light" by the executives, which is rare for most theme songs for a TV series. Saadiq said he wanted the song to be both "uplifting" and "happy", while White was excited to "bring Lunella's voice to the show in a singing way". The title sequence was storyboarded by supervising director Ben Juwono, who drew inspiration from the music video for Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and storyboarded it to play to "Juice", as the theme song had not been written by that point. The song was released as a single on November 14, 2022.
A soundtrack featuring selected songs from the series was released on February 10, 2023.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur premiered on Disney Channel on February 10, 2023. The series was originally scheduled to premiere in 2020, before being delayed to 2022, and later to its current premiere date. The first six episodes of the series were added to Disney+ on February 15, 2023, resulting in episodes 3 to 6 being released prior to their television debuts.
A teaser trailer showing clips from the opening was released by executive-producer Laurence Fishburne in December 15, 2021. An official clip was released during the San Diego Comic-Con 2022, while the first trailer was released during the D23 Expo, where the first episode was shown to the attendees. The series' intro was released during the New York Comic Con 2022, with the first two minutes of the season premiere also being shown during the panel. A music video for the theme song was released in November 14, 2022.
Merchandising for the show will include apparel and a series of toys produced by The World of EPI and Funko Pop! that serve as tie-ins for the series. Characters from Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur appear as limited-time meet-and-greet characters at the Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure starting from February 15, 2023, in commemoration of Black History Month. A soundtrack featuring songs from the first season, in digital and audio cassette formats, was released on January 4, 2023 by Walt Disney Records.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an approval rating of 100%, based on 16 reviews with an with an average rating of 8.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "With dazzling visuals and punchy pacing that feel beamed straight from a child's imagination, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur will enthrall kids while impressing animation connoisseurs."
Joel Keller of Decider asserted, "Marvel's Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur is a dynamic, smart, visually arresting series that has a unique girl at its center, a puppy-like dinosaur, and stories that will entertain both kids and their parents." Matthew Aguilar of ComicBook.com gave the series a 4 out of 5, writing, "Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is an enchanting adventure that wears its heart and charm on its sleeve. The show carves out a corner of the Marvel universe all its own with personality for days and characters that leap off the screen, and any Marvel fan will regret missing out on this one-of-a-kind gem."
Awards and nominations
|2023||TCA Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Family Programming||Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur||Nominated|||
On May 12, 2023, it was reported that a graphic novel based on the series was in development, set to release on April 2, 2024. The novel will be written by Stephanie Williams with art by Asia Simone, while Scholastic is set to publish.
- This episode was first released on Disney+ on February 15, 2023.
- The episode "Goodnight, Moon Girl" was originally scheduled to air as the seventh episode on March 4, 2023. However, at the last minute, it swapped airdates with the episode "Moon Girl's Day Off", which was originally scheduled to air as the tenth episode on March 25, 2023. On Disney+, the episodes are arranged in their original production order.
- This episode was first released on Disney+ on March 8, 2023.
- This episode was first released on Disney+ on April 12, 2023.
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